Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A common sense drug policy

Yes, the title is virtually an oxymoron.  I had heard that the government's drug policy czar in Britain was fired for suggesting that they decriminalize marijuana.  Here's the story.

I'm amazed by the fact that he was able to do this research.  It's little better than anecdotal--a collection of anecdotes and professional opinions.  But it is something substantive in a field full of guesses and approximations, and worse.

More research is needed to firm-up the list.  But after we get that done we need to formulate drug laws that are more in line with the actual harm caused by each substance.  And we should form a rational procedure for evaluating new substances and rating them on the chart to determine how new drugs should be handled.

In my opinion, we should:

  • Legalize and tax all of the substances below tobacco on the list (the final list, not necessarily the current one).
  • Legalize, tax, and control (no sale to minors, etc.) all of the items between tobacco and alcohol, including those two.
  • Focus our drug control forces (border patrol, policing, prevention programs, education programs) on the items above alcohol on the list.

Will that ever happen?  No.  And that's too bad.  The broken system we have now is a horrible injustice.

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